Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor

Minister Petitpas Taylor was recently sworn in as Canada's new Federal Health Minister replacing Jane Philpott. The controversial paid-plasma clinic that has recently opened in Moncton, New Brunswick, despite almost total opposition is in Minister Petitpas Taylor's riding. We are hopeful that Minister Petitpas Taylor will reverse her former colleagues decision to export plasma out of Moncton and protect her constituents and the blood system in her province.

We have no indication that the Federal Liberals have changed their position on promoting blood for-profit in Canada but we will be reaching out to the Minister in the coming weeks.

Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) finalized their license and approval in 2016 under Minister Philpott's tenure. Private paid-plasma clinics proliferating in Canada would be one of the largest moves towards a two-tiered American style healthcare system in Canada. Canadian Blood Services has asked the Federal Government and the Provinces to end support for private paid-plasma operations as they are putting our public national blood system and security of supply at risk. Despite warnings from CBS, the Federal Government and Provincial Health Minister, Victor Boudreau approved a paid-plasma clinic in Moncton. The reasons cited for the controversial policy move - bringing jobs to New Brunswick.

Current Status, Federal

UPDATE – August 24th, 2017

BloodWatch has reached out to Minister Philpott’s office dozens of times by phone, via letters and with multiple trips to Parliament Hill. There has been no public engagement by Minister Philpott her staff or Health Canada on the issue. The Federal Government continues to refuse all open, transparent channels for dialogue.

Please see this recent Globe and Mail article.


December 2016

Minister Philpott was questioned in the Senate on November 24, 2016 by Saskatchewan Senator Pamela Wallin as to why the Minister is licensing private blood brokers. Minister Philpott referenced the non-scientific, non-data supported three-page essay called “The Dublin Consensus” as the “international study” that guided the policy decision to contravene the Krever Inquiry. Minister Philpott also suggested that Canadians do not voluntarily and that the Senators should go out there and find a way to do so. “It’s really unfortunate that we can’t manage to get voluntary donations to meet the very serious need for plasma protein products, so I encourage all senators to find ways to donate blood and plasma as soon as possible.”

Read the transcript of Minister Philpott’s full statement regarding the Regulation of Plasma Products here.

August 2016

BloodWatch.org visited parliament on March 7th, 2016 with a group of tainted blood survivors; NDP Health critic Don Davies, who kindly facilitated a presentation to a diverse group of MP’s representing all parties, hosted us. Minister Philpott did not attend due to scheduling conflicts.

BloodWatch.org’s Executive Director also met with Senators on The Hill. The conversations were constructive. The Senators demonstrated great concern on the issue and gave us a very warm welcome.

We have written multiple letters to Minister Philpott’s office and to the Prime Minister. We have informed Minister Philpott’s staff of the unethical lobbying on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry, coopting of patient groups by CPR’s lobbyist and shared fact-based information that demonstrates this major shift in public health policy is not in the best interest of Canadians or Canadian patients.

We will continue to reach out to Minister Philpott and are hopeful Canadian voices will be heard. We have gained over 15,000 signatures on our SumOfUs campaign and we will deliver them to Minister Philpott on your behalf this fall!

After our blood tragedy, safeguarding the integrity of Canada’s blood system is a modest request.  We know Minister Philpott wants to do the right thing for Canada. We believe that Canadians and our public blood system are worth fighting for. So far, Minister Philpott has refused to consult or have open, transparent discussions with BloodWatch.org and public health organizations across Canada.

Since private plasma collected by Canadian Plasma Resources will not be bought by Canadian Blood Services, it is crucial our Health Minister step in to protect the Canadian blood supply. Every donation collected in Canada should go to saving the life of a Canadian.

Make your voice heard!

Don’t forget to add the date and your name and address at the bottom. Please, send us a copy too, it helps boost our spirits. You can also use the letter as a template to write to your Provincial Health Minister.

Issues with transparency (and corporate lobby groups)

We made a mistake. We stopped our advocacy efforts right after the bill was passed in Ontario. Since we were able to shut down CPR clinics in Ontario and Quebec, we thought that we already had a ban in place, that our government would listen to the will of the public and health community and never approve private blood brokers in Canada. We were wrong – CPR moved to Saskatchewan and was granted a license to sell Canadian blood plasma.

BloodWatch.org has learned that the lobby to privatize our blood system in Canada has occurred in total secrecy. The PPTA (“Big Pharma” of plasma) has been meeting with Health Canada officials since 2011. The public was never informed of this major change in public blood policy. The PPTA has never registered on the Federal lobby list, so there was no way for the public to know this policy decision was being negotiated on our behalf.

Given Canada’s unique history of our tainted blood crisis, this has been devastating to those who were directly impacted and who fought for the public blood system we have today.

Minister Philpott has not yet conducted open, transparent consultations on the issue. Patient groups, doctors, nurses, health care workers, public health organizations, MLA’s and labour unions across the country have written Minister Philpott asking her to revoke the license to CPR and to stop private-paid plasma in Canada as it contravenes the Krever Inquiry and puts our voluntary blood system at risk. However, Minister Philpott has refused to openly consult.

“We have also committed to set a higher bar for openness and transparency in government. It is time to shine more light on government to ensure it remains focused on the people it serves. Government and its information should be open by default. If we want Canadians to trust their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians. It is important that we acknowledge mistakes when we make them. Canadians do not expect us to be perfect – they expect us to be honest, open, and sincere in our efforts to serve the public interest.”

Prime Minister Trudeau – Mandate Letter to Health Minister 2015

Minister Philpott has recently responded to one petition and continues to support private paid-plasma clinics in Canada; despite the new revelation that Canadian Blood Services will not buy their product.

One of our BloodWatch.org board members was a lawyer throughout the Krever Inquiry; we can assure the public that The Krever Inquiry does not support private paid-plasma clinics in Canada. Citing Krever’s Inquiry, in the government response above, as being supportive of private paid-plasma is an egregious interpretation of the report.

Justin Trudeau

Minister Philpott was given a very specific mandate from our Prime Minister.

Justice Krever

"The relationship between the regulator and the regulated...must never become one in which the regulator loses sight of the principle that it regulates only in the public interest and not in the interest of the regulated."

- Justice Horace Krever, Royal Commission of Inquiry On The Blood System in Canada

Graham Sher

"There's a big differentiator between Canadian Blood Services and an enterprise that is for profit, that is paying donors and that is not assuring Canadians that the product is going to stay in Canada to serve the needs of Canadians."

- Dr Graham Sher, CEO of Canadian Blood Services, June 2016

Kat Lanteigne

"Canadian donors are not meant to be a revenue stream for private corporations looking to make a profit"

- Kat Lanteigne, co-founder, BloodWatch.org

Bob Rae

"For whatever reason, it’s taking federal and provincial governments a long time to make up their minds. It shouldn’t. The integrity of the blood supply, and our continuing resolve to keep a strong volunteer base, should make the answer simple: no to “pay for blood or plasma”. Period.”

- Bob Rae, Former Premier of Ontario / Liberal Leader

News and Media, Federal

CBC News: New Brunswick MP Ginette Petitpas Taylor, named Canada’s minister of health in a cabinet shuffle Monday

August 29th, 2017 | ‘A lot I can bring to the table’: 2nd New Brunswick MP joins Trudeau cabinet Ginette Petitpas Taylor, MP for Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe, named health minister in cabinet shuffle. New Brunswick MP Ginette Petitpas Taylor, named Canada’s minister of health in a cabinet shuffle Monday, says she will draw on her social work experience […]


The Globe and Mail: Ottawa approved for-profit plasma clinic despite warning from Canadian Blood Services

August 25th, 2017 | The Globe and Mail (includes correction) Published Tuesday, Aug. 01, 2017 9:26PM EDT Canadian Blood Services told the federal government in January that the voluntary blood-donation system could be at risk if for-profit plasma collection is allowed to proliferate – six months before Health Canada gave a green light to the country’s third paid plasma […]


The Globe and Mail: Blood agency seeking $855-million in funding to boost plasma supply, document reveals

August 25th, 2017 | The Globe and Mail Published Monday, Aug. 14, 2017 5:00AM EDT Canadian Blood Services is seeking $855-million over seven years to significantly boost the amount of plasma it collects from unpaid donors to make medications, according to a confidential document that summarizes the full cost of the effort. The national blood authority sent the provincial, […]


Radio Canada – L’opposition à une clinique privée de plasma sanguin gronde au Nouveau-Brunswick

May 30th, 2017 | Le Front commun pour la justice sociale du Nouveau-Brunswick, entre autres intervenants, s’oppose à l’ouverture d’une clinique de l’entreprise Canadian Plasma Resources à Moncton. Le fait que les cliniques de l’entreprise achètent le plasma sanguin dérange particulièrement les opposants. Le premier argument du Front commun est que le corps humain n’est pas à vendre. Le […]


BloodWatch Strongly Condemns Federal Approval Of Private Paid-Plasma Clinics

April 24th, 2017 | BloodWatch strongly condemns federal approval of a private for-profit paid-plasma collection business in Moncton, New Brunswick. Canadian Blood Services issued a stark warning in December of 2016 stating that private paid-plasma operations are harming the voluntary blood system in Saskatchewan, putting our national voluntary blood system at risk. Read the full statement. 


BREAKING: Alberta government unveils plan to ban private blood collection agencies

March 13th, 2017 | Private companies that pay individuals for providing blood or plasma will be banned from operating in Alberta, under proposed new legislation from the NDP government. Bill 3, the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, was introduced Monday afternoon in the legislature by Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. Read the full Edmonton Sun article.


BREAKING: Alberta introduces legislation to ban donating blood, plasma for profit

March 13th, 2017 | The changes are included in the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, introduced Monday in the legislature by Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. “Donating blood should not be viewed as a business venture, but as a public resource that saves lives every day,” said Hoffman. She said Bill 3 will protect Alberta’s voluntary blood donation system by preventing […]


The Globe and Mail: Canadian Blood Services calls for funding to boost plasma donations

February 1st, 2017 | Health Minister Jane Philpott Shows Signs Of “Reconsidering” Blood Policy Decision. Health Minister Jane Philpott, who has in the past expressed cautious support for paid plasma, said in a statement Tuesday that she has asked Health Canada to “carefully assess” Dr. Sher’s concerns about the Saskatoon clinic’s effect on the voluntary blood-collection system. “CBS has, […]


Maclean’s Authors: Anne Kingston – What a blood plasma-for-profit clinic means for public heath care

January 17th, 2017 | January 14, 2017 – The federal government has quietly approved a plasma-for-profit clinic in Saskatoon, drawing fiery criticism from politicians, scientists and patients Three days before Christmas 2016, jingly seasonal music fills the air at Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) in Saskatoon, located in a non-descript building in a quiet industrial stretch. In one direction, a […]


BREAKING – Canadian Blood Services Says Paid Plasma Clinics Are Harming Voluntary Donations

December 30th, 2016 | CEO of CBS speaks out against private-paid plasma clinics. Confirms that they harm the voluntary donor base in Saskatchewan where the private clinic set-up. PLEASE READ CBC’s national news story here.


STOP PLASMA FOR PROFIT

September 13th, 2016 | Stop the export of Canadian blood for profit. Every policy has a story. This is our Canadian story. Watch our video. 


The Evan Solomon Radio Interview

September 13th, 2016 | March 7, 2016 – Federal Health Minister Admits She has No Idea Where Plasma Will Go. In response to growing opposition, Minister Philpott maintains support for private plasma collection despite not knowing “what the company’s plans are.” Listen to the Evan Solomon Radio Interview.


Global News: Opponents want government to stop paid blood donations

September 13th, 2016 | Citing the horrors of the tainted-blood scandal of the 1980s, a group of activists and NDP MPs made a public plea on Monday to Health Minister Jane Philpott, asking for an immediate moratorium on paid blood donations in Canada. The group, led by NDP MP Don Davies, said the recent approval of a licence for a private, paid-donation clinic in […]


Global News: Pay for plasma: Calls for and against it from those affected

September 13th, 2016 | Andrew Cumming is a hemophiliac who learned about two decades ago that he had been infected with HIV and Hepatitis C through tainted blood. “It was probably the most loathed and stigmatized disease that anyone had contemplated,” he said of life after his diagnosis. He said he was “gobsmacked” when he learned about Canadian Plasma […]


National Post: Would-be medical exec from Iran barred from Canada over alleged ties to Tehran’s nuclear program

September 13th, 2016 | TORONTO — An Iranian who invested more than $1-million in a Toronto-based medical company and was set to become its vice-president has been barred from Canada over his alleged links to Tehran’s nuclear program. The Canada Border Services Agency refused to issue a work permit to Ramin Fallah, 49, labeling him a security threat because […]


CBC FORUM: Should you be allowed to sell your plasma?

September 13th, 2016 | Critics, including the federal NDP, say paid blood donations are a step toward privatizing health care and could lead to another tainted blood scandal. In the 1980s, about 2,000 Canadians were infected with HIV and many thousands more were infected with hepatitis C from tainted blood products. The inquiry into the scandal pointed to paid blood donations as […]


Make your voice heard!

Don’t forget to add the date and your name and address at the bottom. Please, send us a copy too, it helps boost our spirits. You can also use the letter as a template to write to your Provincial Health Minister.